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General News of Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Source: Punch

Senate seeks to ban carrying illegal firearms

The Senate on Tuesday demanded stiffer punishments for anyone who bears illegal firearms in the country.

The red chamber said the action would checkmate all forms of criminal activities in Nigeria.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, made the call in his contribution to a debate on a bill titled: ‘The Firearms Act CAP F28 LFN 2004 (amendment) Bill, 2021’ sponsored by Senator Uba Sani (Kaduna Central).

The bill was passed in the 8th National Assembly but was not assented to by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)

Lawan said that the security situation in the country could be made much better if the proliferation of illegal firearms was adequately curtailed.

He said, “Let me commend the sponsor of this bill and indeed all of us in the Senate for remaining consistent on discussing the security situation in the country.

“The security situation would have been far better if we are able to control the proliferation of firearms in the country.”

He referred the bill to the committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

He urged the panel to engage with the executive arm of government to see where the contentious issues were, if that had not been done by the sponsor of the Bill so that we will be on the same page.

Lawan said, “I believe that there is no compromise for stiffer penalties for anyone caught with an illegal arm.

“The security situation can still be reversed whilst we continue to remain focused and committed.”

Sani, the sponsor of the bill, also advocated stiffer penalty for offences in the “Principal Act” as well as provide for the destruction of firearms imported illegally into the country or in the possession of individuals without valid licences.

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